For many years attempts to understand human behavior oscillated between two emphases: on the one hand, explanations laid emphasis on innate, genetically programmed conditions, which supplied (at the very least) the ground rules of behavior; on the other hand, the emphasis was laid on the acquisition of behaviors through experience and learning. The swings of the pendulum were summarized in such phrases as the nature-nurture debate.
More recently, it has come to be realized that what constructs and constrains human behavior is not the one or the other, or some vague combination of the two, but a complex and dynamic interaction between genes and what may loosely be summarized as culture. What have to be understood are the nature and the mechanisms of that interaction in terms which do justice not only to straight-forward considerations of biogenetics and evolution but also to the extreme varieties of human behavior. To do this and to turn it into quantifiable and predictive science is no easy task.
The human brain has evolved to its great size while retaining the anatomical and chemical features of three basic formations that reflect an ancestral relationship to reptiles, early mammals, and late mammals. Such considerations must be taken into account in the origin and expression of individual and collective violence, which operationally depend on power and the orchestrated use of power. Aristotle and Friedrich Nietzsche have respectively provided paradigms of a great-souled man and a superman—both basically ruthless. In neurobehavioral investigations of the triune brain, one finds the basis for the hierarchical development of ruthless power, merciful power, and transcendental power.
Paul D. MacLean, M.D., is chief of the Laboratory of Brain Evolution and Behavior, National Institute of Mental Health, Post Office Box 289, Poolesville, Maryland 20837.
Anthropological Perspectives on Violence: Universals and Particulars by Paul Heelas
The problem addressed is how to establish the nature (grounds and consequences) of culturally formulated aggressive displays, for example, Balinese cockfights. Psychological and other research suggests that aggression can be under the control of nature, culture, or both. After surveying the evidence supporting both endogenous, in particular cathartic, and exogenous processes, the paper explores what is involved in establishing which process is operative in particular ethnographic cases. Special attention is paid to institutions which show coadaptation between biological and culture-dependent processes and regulations.
Paul Heelas is lecturer in social anthropology, department of religious studies, University of Lancaster, Lancaster LA1 4YG, England.
The balance of obedience/aggressiveness is necessarily skewed to the left in infancy; maturation shifts it to the right. Hierarchies greatly reduce overt violence. Positional shifts in a hierarchy take place through violence or the threat of violence. Self-serving individuals tend to upset hierarchical balance. Peace is served by the acceptance of a sovereign power (like the nation), which gives justice precedence over fairness. Justice as fairness is a pernicious doctrine. Religion has in the past favored secular sovereignty for the sake of peace; hence the protection of religions by sovereign powers.
Garrett Hardin is professor emeritus of human ecology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His address is 399 Arboleda Road, Santa Barbara, California 93110.
Consequences of Social Living, Language, and Culture for Conflict and its Management by Ward H. Goodenough
Human language leads to an open-ended proliferation of human goals and purposes, which make for complex social relationships combining competition and dependence. The resulting ambivalence in social relationships makes the management of frustration and its attendant emotions a central concern of human socialization. The specific loading of emotional problems varies according to how societies are organized, but problems are inevitable. As relations of power and dependence become more complex, human efforts to manage these problems are liable to increasingly explosive and destructive expressions, apparently an inevitable consequence of social and sapient existence.
Ward H. Goodenough is university professor of anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, University Museum, 33rd and Spruce Streets F1, Philadelphia, 19104.
Violence is in its broadest sense the deliberate creation of bads or negative goods as opposed to production, which is the deliberate creation of good. Its two major sources are malevolence and threat. Malevolence is the situation where As perception that B is worse off increases As welfare or utility. Threat systems are probably the largest source of violence. Four responses to threat are: compliance or submission; defiance; flight; and counterthreat, which is stable in the short run, but must eventually break down and is the major source of violence in the modern world.
Kenneth E. Boulding is distinguished professor emeritus of economics and research associate and project director at the Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado, Boulder 80309.
Free Will and Transcending the Unidirectional Neural Substrate by Joseph F. Rychlak
In his review essay of my Discovering Free Will and Personal Responsibility (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979) Robert B. Glassman has made a number of interpretations of what the books contents actually convey.¹ I would therefore like to make a few clarifying points on my side of the ledger, framing my reactions to Glassman around five questions.
(1) What does responsibility mean? My definition of responsibility is the recognition that we play a role in the fixing of predications, premises, and grounds for the sake of which we behave.² This is a purely psychological—with the emphasis on the logical—definition of responsibility. Glassman suggests that by contending the person is psychologically responsible for his or her life premises I am forced into an implicit moral standard in which I would be unable to feel sympathy for the disadvantaged. I discuss the question of the repressive or unsympathetic manner of the moralist, but in so doing attempt to explain why this is the case in psychological terms.³ I take no position on the plight of the disadvantaged in this book. Although it is true that a conservative person might interpret my views to support an unsympathetic outlook, the liberal has the same option to frame my explanations amidst sympathetic understandings of the disadvantaged. On this latter score, Adelbert D. Jenkins, a black psychologist, has recently relied heavily on my outlook to explain how the repressed blacks in America have retained their individuality and personal responsibility in the face of slavery, economic denial, and continuing racial prejudice.⁴ …
¹ Robert B. Glassman, Free Will Has a Neural Substrate: Critique of Joseph F. Rychlaks Discovering Free Will and Personal Responsibility, Zygon 18 (March I983): 67-82.
² Joseph F. Rychlak, Discovering Free Will and Personal Responsibility (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979), p. 289.
³ Ibid., p. 7.
⁴ Adelbert D. Jenkins, The Psychology of the Afro-American: A Humanistic Approach (Elmsford, N.Y.: Pergamon Press, 1982).
Joseph F. Rychlak is the Maude C. Clarke Professor in Humanistic Psychology, Loyola University, 6525 North Sheridan Road, Chicago, Illinois 60626.
Let All of Us Praise our Component Parts by Robert B. Glassman
The author of a book has done a noble deed while the author of a review—even of a long review—is something of a parasite. Therefore, I accept that Joseph F. Rychlak missed the point that I was not attempting to criticize his book from an extreme reductionist position, but that I was adding to his points, trying to subsume what he said within a larger framework.¹ Reading his interesting book opened my eyes to new ways of thinking. Hoping that we are not talking past each other, I will now compound my presumption.
All experience is subjective, but we have a gift whereby much of it coalesces into stabilities enabling us to share objective knowledge. Therefore, Rychlaks way of bracketing extraspection is too limiting. Maturity and responsibility involve struggling against egocentricity. Success in that struggle underlies not only good science but also good teaching, good conversation, good citizenship, and so on. I t seems to me there is something egocentric about an introspectionist stance, but for the most part Rychlaks stance is not egocentric. Rather, the very act of describing well, particularly with reference to many sources, places Rychlak outside of himself and outside the phenomena he is explaining. …
¹ 1. Joseph F. Rychlak, Discovering Free Will and Personal Responsibility (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979). Robert B. Glassman, Free Will has a Neural Substrate: Critique of Joseph F. Rychlaks Discovering Free Will and Personal Responsibility, Zygon 18 (March 1983): 67-82. Joseph F. Rychlak, Free Will as Transcending the Unidirectional Neural Substrate, in this issue.
Robert B. Glassman is professor of psychology, Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, Illinois 60045. The author thanks Roger J. Faber for his suggestions to a draft of this text.
Science, Ideology, and World View by John C. Greene, reviewed by Neal C. Gillespie